For lots of people- the idea of an online school is a brand new one, and it can be confusing. We think that online schooling has a huge amount of potential to help young people in situations that mean that they do not attend mainstream schooling in the UK. We thought we’d answer some of your most commonly asked questions here!
- So how exactly does an online school work?
It’s hard to imagine a school that is not the traditional brick and mortar classroom with thirty students, a teacher, and a whiteboard. To begin students need a quiet study space and a headset (microphone and earphones). Students log in to a virtual classroom on their laptop or computer. In the online classroom they can speak to their teacher verbally, or using the chat. The teacher can use the whiteboard or shared screen. The student can also speak to other students in the online classroom, and work with them independently in ‘breakout rooms’. The teacher sets homework after every lesson and meets with parents each term to discuss the student’s report.
- Term has already started- can I still sign my child up?
Yes, students can sign up all year round. We will tailor-make a learning plan for each individual to make sure that they can achieve their educational aims. Students often learn a lot faster in an online school as distractions from other students are kept to a minimum, there is no time spent travelling to and from school, and lessons are finished by the early afternoon. Small class sizes mean that teachers can focus on nurturing each student, to bring the best out in them and help them to achieve their full academic potential. This makes catching up with missed schooling easier and quicker.
- How does online homeschooling work from a legal perspective?
In the UK any child can legally be homeschooled if the headteacher of their school signs a letter of approval and the local education authority supports this.
- Who is online schooling for?
Parents may choose to homeschool their children for a number of reasons- personal choice, bullying, school exclusion, mental health issues, special educational needs, or travelling. Many parents may not feel that they are able to teach their child all of their lessons themselves, so use online schooling to guarantee that their child continues to receive a quality national curriculum education from home, by qualified teachers.
- We live abroad- can we still sign up?
Yes- anyone can sign up for online schooling as long as they have a stable internet connection. International students may be particularly interested in gaining British qualifications- iGCSEs and A levels- to make them more competitive for applying to universities and jobs abroad, as they are very well respected and recognised around the world.
It sounds good, but I’m still not sure whether it’s for me. What should I do?
You can sign up for a free trial, without needing to commit to anything. This will give your child the chance to try some online lessons, meet our teachers, and decide if online schooling might suit them. You can also give us a ring, or an email to ask any questions, have a chat, and let us know what you need, and we’ll do our best to make it work for you.